iPhone 5 uses complain about purple flare on photos
Report: Apple acknowledges problem, says it's normal for the phone
Users say purple flare appears from sources of light
Apple did not respond to request for further comment
Some iPhone 5 users are complaining that a burst of purple is showing up in their photos – and Apple seems to be acknowledging it’s just part of how the camera works.
Since Apple’s new smartphone was released just over a week ago, some of the millions of users have reported that, when a strong source of light is present in their photographs, the light takes on a purple hue.
The problem was first noted on the forums of online computer magazine Anandtech, where a thread discussing the issue had more than 180 comments Wednesday.
“Yeah, I have a feeling this is going to be Antennagate all over again,” one forum member wrote, referencing antenna problems with the iPhone 4. “I’ve taken 20,000+ photos on my 4S, never ONCE had this problem.”
That user then posted two photos that appear to show the flare.
An e-mail from Apple appears to confirm that the purple haze isn’t all in users’ minds.
Tech blog Gizmodo quoted an e-mail from Apple support to a reader. He claims Apple support staff first said the discoloration shouldn’t be happening but shifted after talking to Apple engineers.
“Our engineering team just gave me this information and we recommend that you angle the camera away from the bright light source when taking pictures,” read the e-mail, as reported by Gizmodo. “The purple flare in the image provided is considered normal behavior for iPhone 5’s camera.”
Apple did not respond to a message seeking comment for this story.
A comparison by Mashable, a CNN content partner, studied similar images taken with an iPhone 5, an iPhone 4S and a Nikon D300. Some of the 5’s images had a purple glow around light sources, while others didn’t, Mashable reported. None of the images from the other two devices displayed the flares.
Some have speculated that the problem is caused by a sapphire cover that Apple added to the phone’s camera.
“The new iSight camera in iPhone 5 features a sapphire crystal lens cover that is thinner and more durable than standard glass with the ability to provide crystal clear images,” Apple wrote in promotional material for the phone.
The iPhone 5 has been Apple’s biggest launch to date, selling 2 million units in the first 24 hours and 5 million over its first weekend on the market.
But with its popularity have come a handful of persistent complaints, the purple glow being the most recent to gain traction.
Foremost have been problems with Apple’s new Maps feature, which for the first time replaced Google Maps as the default mapping software on Apple’s mobile operating system. The problems – landmarks misplaced or misnamed, huge swaths of major cities missing – prompted Apple CEO Tim Cook to offer a rare apology, promising that it will be fixed and going so far as to suggest other apps in the meantime.
Other iPhone 5 complaints have ranged from its aluminum casing scratching easily to light leaking from openings on the phone.
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